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10 ways to overcome emotional eating

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By Agencies

Posted  Saturday, June 21   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

If you find yourself turning to food to help you cope with bad feelings, it is important to address the underlying cause of your cravings and find a healthier way to deal with your emotions.

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1. Distract yourself: Try to take part in an activity that you can get lost in and which will fully absorb your attention.

2. Identify your triggers: Different emotions such as boredom, stress, sadness, anxiety and even happiness can trigger food cravings. By identifying triggers, you can come up with healthier techniques to deal with them.

3. Keep a journal: Eating is a way to avoid dealing with the feelings. To help you get your feelings out, jot down your thoughts, emotions and experiences to get them off your chest.
4. Call a friend: It can help you to talk through your emotions, rather than relying on food to temporarily alleviate them.

5. Recall a motivational thought or quote: Remind yourself of the benefits you will gain from resisting (such as weight loss or a feeling of pride) or read through a list of inspirational quotes you have prepared in advance.

6. Find a healthy mood booster: Research has found that eating carbohydrates stimulates the brain’s production of serotonin – the happy hormone – which may be why many of us crave stodgy “comfort” foods such as pasta and bread when we are feeling down. Alternatively, listen to some music.

7. Exercise: It is good for boosting confidence levels, increasing self-esteem, and is a great distraction from food cravings.
8. Meditate: Yoga and deep breathing are also good ways to silence your mind and promote relaxation.

9. Ride it out: It can be helpful to challenge the belief that we are not strong enough to cope with these feelings by allowing yourself to feel them and acknowledge them as temporary.

10. Get enough sleep: You are less likely to be able to resist the temptation to comfort eat as not getting enough sleep affects our appetite-regulating hormones and also decreases willpower.
-www.realbuzz.com in partnership with Monitor Publications Limited.